Our daughter won’t listen to Dave Ramsey

August 27th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

We are Jewish. I’ve heard you endorse Dave Ramsey and vice versa. His methods have helped me greatly. However, my 34 year old daughter is at a financial crossroads and desperately needs help. When I suggested that she take a FPU course or at least listen to him or read his book, she says, “Oh, he’s that Christian guy. No, I’m not doing that.” How can I get her to open up to his message?

I listen and the Christian references don’t bother me. How can I get her to open up and help herself? She is a struggling actress in CA, in the middle of a divorce.

Thanks in advance for your answer.

∼ CKP

Answer:

Dear CKP,

Firstly, please accept our compliments and admiration for being open to Dave Ramsey’s tough but true teachings on finance.  He has helped thousands of people and we are glad you’re among them.  We are sorry about the pain you feel at your daughter’s self-destructive ways and your apparent inability to help her see the road map.  However, we do think we can help you. Without knowing your daughter, we can only make a few guesses as to what her problem with Dave Ramsey really is. Here are our top three choices:

  1. She is a bigot. Replace the word Christian with Jewish or Black and see how her argument plays. Our guess is that she really means, “He’s that religious, conservative guy.” Prejudices are hard to eradicate so we have no good advice how to help her overcome this one.
  2. She is an extremely cloistered and devout Jew who never reads anything other than traditional Jewish Biblical texts and cannot tolerate hearing any words that are not from or directly related to the Five books of Moses. Knowing that she is a struggling actor in Hollywood suggests that this is also not the correct explanation.
  3. Finally, the crowd with which she runs is probably a “live-for-today,” “spend-all-you-earn,” and “acquire-debt-on-those-credit-cards” type of crowd and for them, Dave’s message of discipline and building for the future is anathema.  In a word, she knows that she’d find Dave’s message anathema.

We did say that we think we might able to be of some small service to you.  At 34, she is an adult and needs to make her own mistakes and be in charge of her own life. We hope you are not supporting her or helping her financially so that she will learn life’s lesson as quickly as possible. If you are providing any support of a financial kind, whether gifts, loans, or guarantees, we can help you by urging you to immediately cease this entirely.  If you are giving her money, you are postponing her ability to repair her life.  We know how difficult it is to turn off the faucet of parental help. We really do—but it is the only way to be truly kind and compassionate.

We hope things improve soon,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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